He awoke on the operating table, strapped down masked surgeons quietly murmuring their own language as the blue white lights bore down on him. The air smelled of antiseptic and blood.
He opened his mouth to scream, but the anaesthesiologist put a clear mask over his mouth and nose, and as he breathed in, everything felt muddy and slow. His eyes clouded, but he could still hear the doctors talking.
“…difficulty keeping him under…”
“No wonder, considering everything else we’ve had to do.”
“…hoping to insert the operative back into the mission…”
“…if the seizures persist, they’ll have to scrap it…”
He couldn’t imagine what they were talking about, operatives and missions, but when they mentioned seizures, he tried harder to focus. He’d gone to the doctor because he’d begun having these strange muscle tics. His original doctor had said they were little more than restless leg syndrome, and told him he should get more regular exercise, and a better sleep schedule.
Then the doctor’s office called him back that afternoon, and he had to go in for a second appointment, where a nurse he’d never seen before told him he could receive a small series of anti-inflammatory injections to quell the symptoms. He wasn’t really a fan of exercise, and he had as regular a sleep schedule as he could get, so the idea of a quick fix was perfect to him.
She gave him the first shot, and told him to lie back, as occasionally, people would feel dizzy as a side effect. “It only lasts a moment,” she told him, smiling faintly. He laid down easily enough, smiling right up at her, and then the world went black and silent, and couldn’t help but feel a vaguely hysterical giggle escape him as he wondered if he’d remembered to shave well this morning, and if the pretty nurse would notice if she had to take his pulse, now that he was fainting.
He woke again (which when is this?) in the exam room, with his doctor looking over a few charts. He sat up quickly, but felt himself grey out again, and his physician immediately came over and steadied him.
“Whoa, whoa! Hold on there, David,” Dr. Robinson chuckled. “You gave us a little scare, there. You were down for the count when Sheila gave you your shots. We just let you have a little nap.”
“A nap?” David said, and he cleared his throat and licked his lips. There was a strange taste on the back of his tongue — sweet and antiseptic. “I’m sorry, Doc. Guess that whole ‘get better sleep’ really is something I oughta look into.”
“Don’t worry — at this point, now that you’re awake, as soon as you feel steady, you can head on out and visit the check-out desk. I’d advise lunch and a relaxing afternoon. No heavy machinery and all that,” the man said kindly.
David tried to remember if Dr. Robinson’s face was one of those in the surgery room, covered by the white masks.